30 October, 2007

Konsole performance

I had a discussion about the speed of Konsole with some Gnome users at a CodeYard meeting. Some testing on the spot revealed gnome-terminal was much faster. So I tried to test some stuff at home, too - see if anything has changed with KDE 4.

Well, yes, Konsole got almost twice as fast - still slower than gnome-terminal, though.

[root@wietbak log]# time cat messages.log.4
(lots of output)
real 0m1.923s (Konsole KDE 3)
real 0m1.077s (Konsole KDE 4)
real 0m0.412s (gnome-terminal 2.18)

But there are differences - some files show different results.
Take the output of another file, dunno what it's supposed to be but it's in /var/log, too, and contains many weird characters like these: ���E�Ms� �

[root@wietbak log]# time cat btmp
real 0m1.030s (gnome-terminal 2.18)
real 0m0.819 (Konsole KDE 4)
real 0m0.711s (Konsole KDE 3)

So for this file, the result is exactly the opposite, though the differences are much smaller.

Weird, weird.

Let's cat all files in /var/log, then, see what the overall scores are:

[root@wietbak log]# time cat *
real 0m10.797s (Konsole KDE 4)
real 0m18.940s (Konsole KDE 3)
real 0m6.524s (gnome-terminal 2.18)

real 0m16.423s (xterm)

For those who want to know how xterm does... Besides looking horribly (no anti-aliassing, and flashes horribly while scrolling), it sucks only slightly less than Konsole from KDE 3 in terms of speed.

Anyway, that confirms the first results. Konsole got almost twice as fast, but gnome-terminal is still a lot faster ;-)

Now of course Konsole kicks gnome-terminal in terms of features, but speed matters too ;-)
I'm not unhappy with the current speed (hey, twice as fast, that's good!) but there apparently is room for improvement. So let's see what the future (KDE 4.1?) brings...